Accepting pain as help for purification, study, and surrender to the Supreme Being constitute Yoga in practice. (Patanjali Yoga Sutra 2.1) This is Kriya Yoga which is made up of tapas (pain for purification), svadhyaya (self study) and Ishwara Prandihana (self surrender). Kriya Yoga is the basis and foundation of all yoga and spiritual practices. It constitutes the context for which all yoga practices are placed, and prepare a student for the eight limbs of yoga.
Tapas - pain for purification; accept challenges and observe self growth; embrace pain as a friend or teacher who can show us our limitations. Everything is here to teach us. When we stretch a muscle beyond its limits, we feel pain. When you push the mind beyond the limits of what it perceives to be just and proper, we experience suffering. Ask what you can learn from a stressful situation? Stimulate introspection. The struggles and obstacles we face are not fruitless - they bring deeper self-knowledge and a truer understanding of life. The ability to endure and overcome problems, strengthens the will. The fruits of tapas are wisdom, faith, and fearlessness.
Svadhyaya - refinement of the intellect through introspection and the acquistion of knowledge; the study for a complete and harmonious development of an individual. Study may include scriptual study, mantra repetition, study of nature: human, animal, and plant. Ultimately all study is aimed towards acheiving Self-realization. It keeps the mind inspired and focused on a goal.
Ishwara Prandihana - self surrender, leading a life dedicated to God and his creation; voluntary letting go of limited and personal desires for the sake of a greater more fulfilling life. Dedicate the fruits of your labor to humanity. Consider an apple tree. Year and year it produces the most delicious fruits, but does the tree ever eat its own apple? No, it simply does its job, producing apples, without the desire to have the fruits of its labor. Spiritual life is based on sacrifice. Living for the sake of others is the highest calling because it aligns us with God's will. Ishwara is a name for the Supreme Being, the source of all knowledge and the guide for attaining peace. Om
3 Om's following introductions and centering. Tabletop, cat/cow, Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) > plank 3x vinyasa (moving with the breath), Balasana (child's pose), Adho Mukha Svanasana, Uttanasana (standing forward bend), Surya Namasakara (sun salutation) with lunge and Ashtangasana (eight pointed pose). Adho Mukha Svanasana at the wall two ways: 1) heels touching wall, goal of the pose is to push heels to the ground and the wall teaches us to extend the back line, 2) heel of the palm of the hand touching a block at the wall, this teaches us to lift our armpits and engage the shoulders. Plank at the wall with heels touching the wall, toes curled under, again the goal of the pose is to push the heels down to straighten and engage the leg muscles. Forearm dog two ways 1) at the wall with two blocks, short edge touching the wall, lightly press you hands into the block as you press you forearm and wrist down to the earth - you may rest your head on the block and 2) on the mat pressing up to full downward facing dog, then exhale and come back down to forearm dog - work the tapas here! Lunge > high lunge > Trikonasana (triangle pose). Vrksasana (tree pose). Dandasana (staff pose), Paschimottanasana (west back stretch), Janu Sirsasana (head to knee pose), Ardha Matsyendrasana (spinal twist - half Lord of the Fishes pose), Salamba Sarvangasana (supported shoulderstand), ankle to knee pose, happy baby pose, Savasana (corpse pose) with guided relaxation. Played the root chakra (red - C) crystal bowl coming out of Savasana.
Peace chant and one Om to close. Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu: May all beings everywhere find Peace and Joy, Love and Light.
"If you seek enlightenment from those who have realized the truth, prostrate before them, question them, serve them. Only then are you open to receive the teachings of sacred knowledge."
- Bhagavad Gita 4.34